Ironically, I spent a few hours of my Thursday evening sitting outside the principal's office at Ramapo High School. No, it wasn't detention. The seeding meeting for the Bergen County girls soccer tournament was going on down the hall in the cafeteria.
There certainly were a few surprises, but the field is set and some intriguing matchups are slated for the first round. For the first time maybe ever, there was no clear No. 1 seed because of IHA's loss to Ridgewood nearly two weeks ago. In fact, I said to Ramapo coach and tournament director Paul Heenehan before the meeting that the only seed I knew would happen was Mahwah at No. 4. That was because IHA, Ridgewood and Northern Highlands all had a legitimate claim to the top spot.
I'll let you know the No. 4 seed after the jump.
Of course, it was Mahwah. Yes, I actually do know what I'm talking about.
It wasn't exactly a great surprise that IHA got the No. 1 seed. They've been the No. 1 team in our poll all season, despite the loss to Ridgewood. I wouldn't call the Blue Eagles an overwhelming favorite, as they have been in the past couple of seasons, but they've won the last two titles and three of the last four, so they deserved the respect of the No. 1 seed.
The second and third seeds apparently were a toss-up. Literally. One vote was taken between Ridgewood and Northern Highlands and the teams came out tied. Both coaches stated their cases again and another vote was taken. Another tie. Then George Washington decided the team's fate (or at least I'm assuming a quarter was used) and a coin was flipped. Northern Highlands got the bounce and the No. 2 seed, That turned out to be quite fortunate later on, when Ramapo was installed as the No. 6 seed. The 6 seed plays the 3 seed in the quarterfinals, which sets up the possibility of Ridgewood and Ramapo meeting there in what would be a battle of two very good teams and a couple of legendary coaches in Ramapo's Paul Heenehan and Ridgewood's Jeff Yearing.
A few random observations about the field: The lower half of the bracket is loaded. Ramapo dropping to the sixth seed means that five NBIL schools are in that side of the bracket. It will be a true accomplishment just to advance to the final from a field that includes Northern Highlands, Ridgewood, Ramapo, Indian Hills, Old Tappan, Glen Rock and Ramsey.
It will be interesting to see how Demarest handles being the No. 5 seed. The Norsewomen have enjoyed a complete turnaround this season, but success is still new and something they're getting used to. Being such a high seed means there are expectations and Demarest hasn't had to play with that mentality yet, where wins are expected. That time is now. It was still unknown as of Thursday night if Demarest would have a first-round game. Lyndhurst was made the No. 28 seed, but it was unsure if they were planning to participate in the tournament. If not, Demarest gets a first-round bye
Paramus is looming. I'm sure Paramus coach Vic DiPasquale was pretty happy with a 12 seed. It sets up a potential second round match with Demarest and has the Spartans looking at making another run in the tournament like they did last season. Paramus is better than its record says.
The seeds are as follows
2. Northern Highlands
7. Indian Hills
8. River Dell
9. Pascack Valley
10. Old Tappan
11. Glen Rock
17. Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge
20. Park Ridge
21. Queen of Peace
22. Fair Lawn
24. New Milford
25. Midland Park
26. Fort Lee
28. Lyndhurst (if they’re in)